Participated in a really interesting event today on the transformation of the public sectors estate. Organised by Westminster sustainable business forum the event was a follow on from last years launch of the influential research report 'Leaner and Greener: Delivering effective estate management.' This identified that local government in England's property portfolio was worth £250billion and that £7billion could be saved in annual running costs by better space utilisation.
A second report was launched 'Leaner and Greener II: Putting buildings to work', showing that a further £8billion can be saved by improved productivity by creating improved working conditions. Government also estimate that a further £35billion could be saved over the next 10 years by better capital decision making.
In the current climate anything with this sort of potential has to be considered seriously especially when we are talking about savings in property and not cutting services or jobs.
In APSE's view there needs to be a change in mindset around assets in terms of greater consideration being given to the cost of running and maintaining them. But this must also be balanced against against savings from energy efficiency measures and whether all of the income generation opportunities created by renewable energy incentives have been fully exploited.
At a time when political leaders and corporate management teams are scrutinising every line of spending I suspect that property is an area of activity that will become increasingly prominent in their thoughts.